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Greensboro, NC 27408
336-286-9897

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January 11, 2015

Tooth pain related to sinusitis is a very common problem.

Last week I was experiencing tooth pain, but I also had sinus congestion. The pain was fairly constant but intensified with movement. Tooth pain related to sinusitis is a very common problem.

Each time we breathe through our nose, air travels through the sinuses en route to the lungs. The sinuses are hollow, air-filled cavities that are lined with a pink membrane similar to the pink lining inside the mouth. When that lining gets infected or inflamed, it is called sinusitis.

x-ray of jaw and face showing sinusitis and how this can cause tooth pain.

Although there are other sinuses, the main pair of sinuses that affect the upper teeth are the maxillary sinuses. The roots of many people's teeth are in close proximity to the floor of the maxillary sinuses (outlined on the x-ray). The main symptom of sinusitis is continuous discomfort in the upper molars and premolars that changes (gets worse or better) when the head moves (such as lying down or standing up).

Sinusitis can be treated with a humidifier and decongestants. Antibiotics are used if the sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection.

So even though a toothache is usually caused by a problem with a tooth, it is important to understand that sinuses can mimic a toothache as well. Dental pain, whether tooth or sinus related, should always be evaluated by a dental professional.

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Greensboro, NC 27408
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